Professional Headshot Tips from Piers Photography
Did you know that LinkedIn has over 575 million users? Nowadays, everyone and their uncle seems to be on the platform, whether they are an entrepreneur or part of a large, multi-national corporation with huge offices dotted around the globe.
I’m on LinkedIn too, and as a photographer, there is one thing that jumps out at me before anything else… the all-important profile picture. I’m not saying that people have to look a certain way to perform a particular job – it’s not about that – but the LinkedIn profile pictures can quickly and easily convey professionalism, polish, and poise, all things that can help to build rapport with a potential customer or colleague before you have even met them!
We’ve all seen them, photos from a night out or holiday that have been cropped to fit in the LinkedIn profile picture dimensions… there might be a tell-tale wine glass or plate of food in the background or holiday-makers in swimwear in the back of the shot. Yes, it might be a ‘nice’ picture of you, but what does it actually say to your audience? Does ‘fun-loving holidaymaker’ convey the fact that you take your job seriously and are a responsible and effective manager, for example?
As with so many things, if you need a great headshot the simplest and easiest thing to do is to seek out a professional photographer to take one for you, but if you’re short on time and need to do it yourself, here are my top 5 Professional Headshot Tips for a great headshot:
1.) Good lighting – this is SO IMPORTANT! Too dark and you’ll have shadows all across your face, too bright and you’ll look washed out, startled and might have developed a squint… Try and find a location in your home or office with plenty of natural light, i.e. facing a window with a wall behind you.
2.) Plain background – jazzy wallpaper or a busy office behind you can detract attention away from your headshot, making it the primary focus of the image. If you’re a beginner, a plain wall or door in an area full of natural light is a good place for a picture.
3.) Simple clothing – as above, it’s easy to detract attention away from your face if you’re wearing clothes that speak for themselves! A relatively simple and plain background and clothing help to keep you the focus of the photo. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of clothing that is very similar to your skin tone, as that can also wash you out.
4.) Step away from the filter – almost every smartphone has some kind of image editing or filtering software on it, and although you may be tempted to use it to adjust your image quickly and easily, it’s important to not go overboard! People want to build up a rapport with you, not a completely unrecognisable version of yourself who has been ‘photo-shopped’ to such an extent that your own family wouldn’t recognise you!
5.) Smile – although a corporate headshot might seem serious, you don’t need to look solemn! A friendly smile can really help to make you appear more approachable and personable.
If you’re not sure what to do for your headshot, take a look at some of your LinkedIn contacts and see what they have gone for? Make notes of the ones that you like and see if you can identify what exactly you like about it, and when it comes to taking your own photo, don’t be afraid to try a few different poses and take a number of photos in each position… the more photos you take, the more likely you will find one that meets your exacting standards most closely!
If you’d like more information, why not visit my Corporate Headshots page for more information about my own portrait photography and corporate headshot work. You can also contact us via email: Jonathan@piersphoto.com or telephone: 07787 505786 if you’d like to find out more.